After being switched off in many of the countries of the world, MSN messenger will now finally be gone for good after being switched off in China in October. This marks the end of the 15-year old service.
MSN Messenger was for many years the rival of chat program Skype, and was launched in 1999. After Microsoft made the big move of purchasing Skype in 2013, MSN messenger was switched off in the majority of the world’s countries in 2013.
Only Chinese users preferred to continue to use the service they had become accustomed to for so long, but even they will have to get used to the features of Skype as they will not be automatically transtfered to the other chat program on the 31st of October.
Back in 2009, Windows Live still had a tremendous amount of users: 300 million. As would be expected, those numbers began to decline, especially after Microsoft’s purchase of Skype. While MSN user numbers were dwindling, Skype user numbers began to slowly but surely increase and by 2012, they had reached almost 300 million.
MSN Messenger arrived in China back in 2005 where it had to face off stiff competition from local rivals such as Chinese firm Tencent’s QQ messenger. Slowly, MSN messenger gained ground and Chinese users not only became accustomed to it but remained faithful users up till now.
On Thursday, Windows Live users started to receive emails informing them of the planned changes that await them. In the meantime, Chinese newspapers also reported the planned closure and the expected changes. The newspaper also noted that former Windows Live users would receive free Skype credit if and when they would choose to migrate over to Skype.
Initially, MSN Messenger started out as a banal text chat service in 1999, when it rivaled AOL’s AIM service as well as ICQ. It was only later that MSN began adding other features such as photo and data delivery, video calling and other possibilities as technology advanced.
When Microsoft decided to buy Skype for $8.5 billion, faithful users could foresee the end of messaging service that had touched the lives of millions of teenagers who started out in a world without social networking.
Many users spoke highly of MSN, explaining that it had heralded the era in which chatting up classmates didn’t involve the terrifying prospect of actually having to say something to them or ringing up a crush and fearing their father would pick up.